• Appendix 4: Legal services expenditure

    Our total legal expenditure has increased by $14.2 million from last year. This was due to a significant increase in the volume and complexity of cases flowing from compliance activity and recovery action.

    TABLE 7.4: ATO legal services expenditure, 2010-11 (a)(b)(e)

    Total costs recovered

    $7,300,143

    Total external legal services expenditure (c)

    $54,083,008

    Total internal legal services expenditure (d)

    $33,866,054

    Total (external and internal) expenditure

    $87,949,062

    Summary of external legal services expenditure

    • Total value of briefs to counsel
     

    $15,927,042

    • Total value of disbursements (excluding counsel)
     

    $14,748,065

    • Total value of professional fees paid
     

    $23,407,901

    Total external legal services expenditure

    $54,083,008

    Counsel

    • Number of briefs to male counsel
     

    320

    • Number of briefs to female counsel
     

    97

    Total number of briefs to counsel (through a law firm)

    417

    • Number of direct briefs to male counsel
     

    395

    • Number of direct briefs to female counsel
     

    173

    Total number of direct briefs to counsel (not through a law firm)

    568

    • Total value of briefs to male counsel (including direct briefs)
     

    $12,214,803

    • Total value of briefs to female counsel (including direct briefs)
     

    $3,712,238

    Total value of briefs to counsel

    $15,927,042

    (a) Includes Tax Practitioners Board legal costs for 2010-11. Total external legal services expenditure for Tax Practitioners Board $277,888 (ex GST). Total internal legal services expenditure for Tax Practitioners Board $1,870,429.

    (b) All dollar amounts exclude GST. Please refer to note (e) for GST component credit.

    (c) Excludes costs awarded against the ATO, external expenditure on compensation and legal costs attributable to the ATO's test case program.

    (d) Includes ATO's Legal Services Branch and Tax Practitioners Board internal legal services expenditure. The ATO's Legal Services Branch manages tax litigation (under Part IVC of the Taxation Administration Act 1953), debt litigation, general law and freedom of information. The total internal legal services expenditure consists of the cost of labour and expenses associated with our Legal Services Branch. The Tax Counsel Network performs core business of the ATO through the provision of interpretive advice on the more complex areas of tax law. In addition there are business lines within the ATO where employees perform functions of a legal nature (for example preparation of writs, statutory demands and bankruptcy notices). The cost associated with the legal component of the work of these areas is not included.

    (e) Total GST component credit for external legal services (including Tax Practitioners Board legal expenditure) $4,635,465:

    • external expenditure on counsel - $1,576,139
    • other disbursements on external legal services - $712,367
    • external expenditure on professional fees - $2,346,959.
     
      Last modified: 31 Oct 2011QC 28036